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NZ Pastafarians joined in noodly wedlock

Ministeroni officiates at first legal Flying Spaghetti Monster wedding

A New Zealand couple had the honour of celebrating the world's first Pastafarian wedding on Saturday, when Ministeroni Karen Martyn joined Marianna Fenn and Toby Ricketts in noodly wedlock.

The historic ceremony took place aboard a vessel in Akaroa harbor, where Fenn and Ricketts - dressed as pirates - exchanged pasta rings, with the groom vowing "to always add salt before boiling his pasta" as his bride sported a colander on her head, as is the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster custom.

Fenn, 33, and Ricketts, 35, told AP they decided to tie the knot a few weeks ago "after another Pastafarian couple's plans to be first to wed fell through".

Fenn said: "I would never have agreed to a conventional marriage, but the idea of this was too good to pass up. And it's a wonderful opportunity to celebrate my relationship with Toby, but in a way that I felt comfortable with."

Bobby Henderson, founder of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, told the news agency: "It's sad that so many people feel pressured to do the traditional Christian wedding even when they don't relate to much of the religion. If people can find some happiness in having Pastafarian weddings, that's great, and I hope no one gives them any flak about it."

New Zealand opened the door to Pastafarian marriage last December, when officials "recognised the group as suitable to officiate weddings". A couple of months back, Karen Martyn became its first registered marriage celebrant.

While Pastafarians worldwide will doubtless welcome New Zealand's recognition of their faith, members of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster elsewhere continue to suffer religious persecution.

A United States District Court judge recently ruled the Church is not actually a religion, backing Nebraska State Penitentiary officials' decision to deny inmate Stephen Cavanaugh access to "Pastafarian literature and religious items while behind bars". ®

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